Saints Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin

Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus Martin was the third of five children of Pierre-François Martin and Marie-Anne-Fanny Boureau. All his siblings died before reaching age 30. Although Louis intended to become a monk, wishing to enter the Augustinian Great St. Bernard Monastery, he was rejected because he did not succeed at learning Latin. Later he decided to become a watchmaker and studied his craft in Rennes and in Strasbourg.

Azélie-Marie Guérin was born in Gandelain, near Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France. She was the second daughter of Isidore Guérin and Louise-Jeanne Macé.Zélie wanted to become a nun, but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul due to respiratory difficulties and recurrent headaches. She then prayed for God to give her many children and that they would be consecrated to God.

She later decided to become a lacemaker, manufacturing Alençon lace. She fell in love with the watchmaker Louis Martin in 1858 and married him, only three months later, on 12 July 1858, at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Alençon. Zélie’s business became so successful that, in 1870, Louis sold his watchmaking business to go into partnership with her.Read More »